Ambassador James Nicholson, who represented the Bush administration to the Vatican when the war in Iraq began seven years ago, has often told the story of hosting a delegation of Iraqi bishops in Rome shortly after the 2003 invasion. When Nicholson greeted the bishops at the steps of the ambassador’s residence, as he tells the story, they said to him, “Thank you for liberating our country.”
t That may have been their sentiment seven years ago, but the bishops seem to be singing a different tune today as the U.S. withdraws its final contingents of combat troops.
tThe United States has “betrayed its duty to bring peace and security” to Iraq, according to Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad, in an interview on Friday with the Italian daily La Stampa. The Americans leave behind “an Iraq worse off than the one they found seven years ago,” said Warduni, who’s widely regarded as the most charismatic voice among the Iraqi bishops.
tThe following is an NCR translation of Warduni’s interview with Giacomo Galeazzi of La Stampa.
Do you consider the war in Iraq a failure?